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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Global Media and Communication, 12 (2), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Global Media and Communication page: http://gmc.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/

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Networked idiots: affective economies and neoliberal subjectivity in Russian viral video

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Global Media and Communication
Issue number2
Volume12
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)143-159
Publication statusPublished
Early online date9/06/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Idiot is usually a term of derision. In this article, we reconsider the common meaning as designating a stupid person and return to an earlier etymology as signifying a private and independent individual. In ancient Greece, being idiotic meant engaging in the contemplative process of becoming an individual. At times, this pursuit of individuation differentiated such individuals as their acts occurred in public and were seen as absurd, out-of-the-ordinary and, frankly, idiotic, as most now know the term. With the widespread use of social media and digital video, these once private or semi-public acts of individuation often become explicitly public acts for others to see, critique and mimic. Social media has made it possible for these explorations of self to circulate where their emotional intensities resonate with or are rejected by viewers, are captured for profit by media corporations, and leveraged by their producers into media careers. Using a case study from Russian social media, this article describes the affective economy of idiotic videos and how the history of one Internet video illustrates the circulation, capture and self-capitalization attendant with neoliberalism.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Global Media and Communication, 12 (2), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Global Media and Communication page: http://gmc.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/